Matthew 22

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?  Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.

He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

In the beginning of the Chapter we see Jesus giving a picture of what Heaven is like and who will be invited there.   Our theme song for this site suits this place, and also paints the same picture.

The religious leaders then and still throughout history since, often times see themselves as all righteous and smug in their own eyes, that surely they will have done everything deserving a place in the Kingdom…. but they miss it by a long shot, even while Jesus teaches constantly that God looks at the heart.

Religionists are amazing in their rules and traditions… knowing full well that we’ve all failed in keeping God’s Ten Commandments, yet feel their own worthiness in adding more man made rules and regulations to live by (often times these rules are for thee, not for me).  Jesus wipes all that away with His blood and exposes the pride and hypocrisy for what it is.  Especially in this Chapter.

The leaders must despise the thought of common sinners… the adulterous woman, the demon possessed, widow, orphan, poor, murderers, the blind, lame… the gentiles?! who through no works of their own are invited into the kingdom.

We see the Bridegroom, which is Jesus, and the Bride which would be the church.  No one can come to the King’s Wedding feast  who is not invited, just as no one can come to the Father who denies the invitation through the Son.  One can’t come through religion… and that’s what the Jewish leaders of the day were all about. They rejected the Bridegroom, so the Bridegroom sent out elsewhere to invite those who would come.

Let the people understand that the invitations sent out to this Wedding Feast don’t have names written on them, this is a free event.  All who are called are invited, but it’s up to those called to come.   And those who come to the Feast, are a part of this Wedding.

This is the heart of the Gospel, and the heart of our Lord Who calls to everyone, I bid you Come!  The whole world is invited, but sadly not many will accept. They have their own important lives, business, interests and leisure time to attend to. He sends out His servants… Go ye therefore into the world…  And many still refuse to come.  Some even are so disgusted or offended at the thought of spending time at the Feast that they abuse and kill those who come to share the invitation.

And yet, on the day of the Feast, those same will realize their folly and try and crash the party.  But the King, who had shown His love and kindness has had enough, they killed His servants, and so He has no place for them, sends His army out and destroys the temporary lives they built, and casts them out into darkness… apart from Him and His Son.  They would not accept the invitation when they had every opportunity to, and the invite has expired.

It seems harsh, but no more harsh than those who choose to deny the invitation while mocking the King’s generosity.  Either ignoring, or openly hostile, our King even now still loves and bids all to come.  Will you?

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What I love about the rest of the chapter is that the religious leaders seemed to have been saving their big guns for the last, determined that they’d beat Jesus and prove Him to be a fraud. And Jesus, shot each one down without losing a breath.  His parables and answers need not be explained here. He lays each answer out in a way that we know He perceives the minds of men, and can judge the hearts of all. He knows all of our hearts, and yet still He calls us….

Have a blessed Wednesday all.

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